Building water storage too important to become ‘political football’:
IrrigationNZ says it is increasingly concerned about political rhetoric around water storage and a cross-political party agreement is needed to advance the issue.
The national body representing irrigators and the irrigation industry was responding to comments from former Labour MP Stuart Nash that a future Labour Government wouldn’t fund water storage developments.
“As water storage has multiple benefits, from improved river flows to more productive farms and job creation for towns and cities, we struggle to understand why some politicians continue to see water storage as a negative. It’s far too important to be treated as a ’political football’. It’s an investment in New Zealand’s future and one we need to make now,” says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis. . .
Mt Duthie manager single-minded – Sue O’Dowd:
A sheep and beef farmer near Taranaki’s northern gateway wants to see more farmers committing their stock to specific meat processing plants.
Grant Lowry, who manages the 1700ha (1000ha effective) Mt Duthie Station, near Awakino, backs the establishment of a single meat co-operative in New Zealand and the Meat Industry Excellence group’s efforts to get a mandate for industry reform.
The group is hosting its fifth meeting in Te Kuiti tomorrow afternoon, following meetings in Gore, Christchurch, Gisborne and Feilding attended by about 3000 farmers over the last month. . .
Farmers welcome ‘steady as she goes’ Budget 2013:
Federated Farmers is describing Budget 2013 as a ‘steady as she goes’ affair. While there is an increase in new operating spending, this $900 million increase is modest relative to total Government operating spending of $72 billion.
“Budget 2013 continues to move in the right direction as far as farmers are concerned and it is broadly consistent with Federated Farmers’ advocacy,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Vice-President.
“We have called for Government spending to be capped and reduced over time to 30 percent of Gross Domestic Product. This is forecast to be achieved in 2016/17. . .
Ultimate Rural Challenge underway in Auckland:
Crowds gathered in Auckland at Aotea Square as the 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest officially began.
Auckland City Councillor George Wood opened the proceedings and was delighted this leading agricultural event has come to the ‘City of Sails’.
“We townies look in awe as these young farmers from all over the country get into these different challenges and do such a great job”, Councillor Wood said.
The seven Grand Finalists, each representing a different region, rode into the square on farm bikes and were introduced to the public by Contest announcer Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins and Contest Chairman Bevan Proffit. “It takes a lot of passion and a lot of determination, you also have to be a good all-rounder”, commented Mr Proffit on what it takes to be the Contest Champion. . .
$80m for irrigation – boost to economy, environment:
Budget 2013 has confirmed $80 million in funding for regional irrigation projects, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.
“After the extreme drought that most of the country has struggled through this year, the need for better water storage is obvious,” he says.
“There is no shortage of water in New Zealand, but we lack the ability to store and use that water when it’s needed most. Currently, only 2 per cent of rainfall is used for irrigation. We need to do a better job of using this resource.
“Increasing irrigation could see a further 420,000 hectares of irrigated land becoming available, creating thousands of new jobs and boosting exports by $4 billion a year. . .
New Zealand has record year of success at International Wine Challenge:
New Zealand collect 38 Gold medals at IWC including 13 gold for their Pinot Noirs.
New Zealand winemakers demonstrated their excellence at the 30th International Wine Challenge winning 38 Gold medals in a record year of success.
Thirteen of the much-coveted Gold medals were awarded to Pinot Noir. “New Zealand’s Pinot just gets better and better and it is hard to beat in terms of quality, consistency and value. One theme that came through in judging this year was the regional diversity. This is great news for New Zealand Pinot and one that suggests that vine age is now starting to have a significant impact” said Sam Harrop MW, Co-Chairman of the IWC. Sauvignon Blanc also scored highly collecting eleven of the 38 Gold medals awarded to New Zealand. . .
‘Waitaki Wine Doctors see double’:
Drs John Forrest of Forrest Wines and Jim Jerram of Ostler Wines are today celebrating double successes with gold medals for their 2010 Waitaki Valley Pinot Noirs.
Awarded by the prestigious 2013 London International Wine Challenge, this echoes the 2012 event when the John Forrest Collection 2009 Pinot Noir was awarded a gold medal together with the Ostler Caroline 2009 Pinot Noir 2012 also winning gold at the equivalent event in Shanghai.
Waitaki Valley in New Zealand’s picturesque North Otago, was first planted in 2001 and the vineyards are mostly small, intensively managed and produce a range of distinctive cool-climate wines. The key viticultural characteristics are the area’s cool climate with warm summers and long, usually dry, autumn seasons. Its geological origins are complex with limestone, alluvial greywacke and schist being found in close proximity at different sites. . .
Coffee harvest plunges in Puerto Rico – Danica Coto:
Coffee production in Puerto Rico has hit the lowest level ever in the island’s history, leaving farmers and government officials worried about how to revive a once burgeoning industry amid a deep economic crisis.
Farmers produced some 39,900 kilograms of coffee during the most recent harvest, which represents only a third of local consumption, Agriculture Secretary Myrna Comas says.
Production in previous years has fluctuated between 47,600 kilograms and 68,000 kilograms, according to department statistics. . .